iPad News Apps May Diminish Newspaper Print Subscriptions in 2011

​RJI releases results from major Apple iPad News Survey

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Keeping up with news and current events is the most popular use of the Apple iPad, according to a survey conducted by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri.

The findings indicate more than half of print newspaper subscribers who use their iPad at least an hour a day for news are very likely to cancel their print subscriptions within six months. However, that decision could be influenced by several factors — especially price, which was mentioned most often.

Of the more than 1,600 survey participants:

  • Three-quarters of respondents spent at least 30 minutes a day consuming news on their iPad, nearly half said they spend an hour or more. 
  • iPad users are predominantly well-educated, affluent men between the ages of 35 and 64 who tend to be early adopters.
  • A positive iPad reading experience is influenced by age and traditional media habits.
  • Overall satisfaction and time spent with the iPad is very high.

“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year, but our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011,” according to Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing and the research project leader.   

Nine out of 10 respondents who consumed at least an hour a day worth of news on their iPad said they were either very likely (71.8%) or somewhat likely (21.2%) to use a newspaper’s application for reading news and feature stories as opposed to using a Web browser to navigate the newspaper’s website.

These and other finding will be discussed from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. CST at RJI’s Tablet/E-Reader Symposium and Digital Publishing Alliance meeting in Columbia, Mo, on Friday, December 10. The symposium will be webcast live.

A report on the survey results can be found on the RJI website.

This survey was conducted online from the beginning of September through the end of November. RJI plans to conduct at least two follow-up panel surveys and another cross-sectional survey of iPad users in 2011. The multi-year research project is funded by the Digital Publishing Alliance (DPA), a member-supported initiative of the Reynolds Journalism Institute that includes newspapers and technology companies. For more information, contact Roger Fidler, RJI program director for digital publishing, at fidlerr@rjionline.org.

Kelly Peery
Communications Coordinator
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
573-882-9650

About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute 
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute engages media professionals, scholars and citizens in programs aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism. Part of the Missouri School of Journalism, RJI collaborates with citizens, news and technology companies, professional associations and foundations to generate and test innovative models and technologies for journalism and advertising. Six Donald W. Reynolds Fellows spend an academic year at RJI, working with Missouri faculty and students and RJI staff to develop new ways to gather, process and deliver news, information and advertising. RJI was launched in 2004 with an initial $31 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. In 2009, the Foundation awarded the Institute an additional $15 million for operating support. 

About The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed more than $100 million to its National Journalism Initiative in the United States.

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